Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sound of Music Dress

After I found the fabric at the thrift store last week, I knew it was going to be time to try my hand at making Eliana an outfit.  Something I've never really done for her (if you don't count Halloween costumes, and I don't!)... something I've done for Diego and for my older nieces, but by the time she rolled around I felt overwhelmed like I would never be able to function normally again and certainly never break out the sewing machine ever again.  Anyway, it was time. She's three, for pity's sakes! And the fabric was practically free, so if I messed it up too bad, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I thought I might need a pattern, until I saw this and then I decided I could wing it like I've done in the past. (I'm really not a pattern kinda girl.) Then, I saw this, and wanted it desperately for her, but let's face it, money's kinda tight right now and it wasn't going to happen. Then, I took a closer look and decided it was close enough to the first dress that I could modify the directions a bit and at least come up with something similar.

I found this coordinating upholstery sample out of my granny's craft stuff and was amazed at how well it worked with the curtain fabric and decided to use it for the bodice. Then I picked up some other supplies out of my vintage sewing supplies I had laying around. The part I wish I would have bought was a better matching thread, but I'm really not at a place in my life where a fabric store run is an easy thing, so I went with what I had. Plus, I liked the idea of practically free. So, that's what I get!

Here's what I did:

Cut two matching rectangles for the bodice and then cut a small neck hole in both.

Cut a slit down the back.

Cut the front neckline a bit lower -- I actually went back and cut it even lower than this later.

I sewed some rick-rack across the front piece and then sewed the two pieces at the shoulder. Later, I decided to go back and narrow it a bit more-- I wish I hadn't because it's now a bit more snug than I'd like, but you live and you learn right?

I used some vintage bias tape to go around the neck hole.

Sewed the bottom corners of the bodice together, just a bit to give myself a bit of an outline for the sleeves.

I cut a good length of fabric for the skirt of the dress... too long, I think about 21 inches. (Again, you live and learn, next time I'm going shorter!)  With the right sides together, I sewed it together to create a tube.

Here's a picture to give you an idea of how much wider than the bodice the skirt was.

I tacked some more rick-rack onto the front and sewed in place. After that, I sewed on more bias tape to hem the skirt. I gathered the skirt and then with the right sides together, sewed it into place.

For the sleeves I cut two identical pieces that were doubled over and gradually got wider toward the fold.

I sewed the ends of the sleeves-- right sides together and then ran bias tape around the the sloped sides of the sleeves. Then I gather the other sides of the sleeves, tacked them into the bodice (right sides together) and sewed them in place.I finished the dress by using a vintage button and used some more rickrack for a buttonhole.

Forever in my mind this will be her Sound of Music dress because it matches my curtain. Don't know what I'm talking about? It's time to watch it--good grief, it's a classic!


va said...

You did a great job!!!

Misha Lulu said...

very cute!!!!!

Rubyellen said...

wow! the fabric is adorable and the dress is even more charming! thanks for sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

Super cute! So productive with your in-laws in town.

Mindy Harris said...

oh my stars will you let story borrow it when she's that size?

mpoffman said...

How fun - good job! I'm always amazed that you can throw something together without a pattern. You have a super cute little model too!

Sarah said...

that is so dang cute!

Bethany said...

Misha Lulu- Thank you so much for the inspiration... your clothes are gorgeous!
Ruby- Thanks for sharing Misha's clothes with us! She's a smart cookie for using your beautiful girls to model!
Mindy- Of course Story girl is welcome to hand-me-downs! (Any time you're ready for a new size, let me know and you're welcome to come dig through tubs!